Call of Duty returned to its WWII roots in 2017, but this year the series is set to go back to the future.
That’s if a job posting from developer Treyarch is anything to go by.
The post detailed the company was looking for someone with experience with “firearms and modern military technology” – strongly suggesting the game will not be set in the past.
In fact, analysts predict Black Ops will be returning this year – which would make sense, given that Treyarch are behind the previous games.
So, what can we expect from the new COD? We pull out the features we’d want to see included.
A proper campaign
After the magnificent first two games, BLOPS 3 was a bit of a disappointment.
The single-player campaign barely clocked eight hours and paled in comparison to the other games in the series.
One thing Treyarch did do well though was the introduction of a four-player co-op campaign – and we’d love to see this included in this year’s BLOPS.
As with the last game, we’d like to see players have the option to take control of different classes to suit their playstyle. For example, snipers, heavy weapons specialists and all-rounders.
Level design that encourages gamers to use their specific abilities and traits, rather than rewarding run and gun, would be massively welcome.
For all of COD WWII’s greatness, a lack of different character classes in campaign meant every level felt the same – hiding behind cover and hunting for ammo.
Balancing pacing so it’s not all run and gun was one of BLOPS 2’s strongest points.
Some levels would see you exploring areas for a decent period of time before a firefight – helping you feel part of the world, rather than just an on-rails segment.
Multiple endings and Strike Missions
On the topic of campaign, one of the features that made BLOPS 2 the best of the bunch was the inclusion of multiple endings.
The game had five in total, each with a very different feel – but all featuring baddie Raul Menendez.
This freedom helped the game feel much less scripted than the other titles – offering a level of freedom far beyond that of COD: WWII.
To help mix things up, Treyarch added Strike Force Missions – Real-Time Strategy (“RTS”) style stages where you must take direct control over individual units, or manage all of them at once.
These were far from perfect, but the concept was sound.
With a bit of tweaking, and a decent incentive / reward system – there could be enough here to warrant a return this year.
Treyarch first brought Zombies into the fold in 2009, as part of COD: World at War.
BLOPS 3 arguably had the best zombies mode of the lot. Shadows of Evil was set in the 1940s and included the likes of Jeff Goldblum in the cast.
Characters were diverse and interesting – a magician, a boxer, a cop, and a burlesque dancer – all introduced with a great short video.
Rather than just aimless shooting, which is does so well, by focusing on the setting and fleshing out the characters, it made for a much more engrossing experience – and one we’d like to see bettered this year.
COD: WWII took zombies in a far more sinister and scary direction – which left some fans disappointed.
Here’s hoping COD rediscovers some of the fun again this year.
Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
This simply has to happen – the only snag is that MW2 is an Infinity Ward game, so they may be holding it back until next year.
Still, stranger things have happened – and after the brilliant reception to 2016’s Modern Warfare remaster, Activision may want to get this out sooner rather than later.
Failing that, a remaster of the original Black Ops would be welcome – and, should there be returning characters, be a clever way of filling in the back story.
We’ll have to wait and see on this one.